By Itaru John, M.Afr, Lusaka
The 2016 Palm Sunday has seen another realization of ecumenical procession. Nine different Churches in Kabwata area (where M.Afr carry their pastoral work) gathered together for a colourful procession to mark the triumphant entry of our Lord in Jerusalem. These Churches are: African Methodist Episcopal Church, Roman Catholic Church, Kabwata Church of Nazarene, Kabwata Pilgrim Wesleyan Church, Reformed Church in Zambia, Anglican Church, The Salvation Army, The United Church of Zambia (UCZ) and the United Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. The procession covered about three to four kilometres. It is beyond doubt that from ecumenical point of view, one can affirm that the Church in Zambia has succeeded to make their ecumenical gathering a real event. This is something to appreciate. This platform inspires!
Recently we have seen how the Pope Francis insists on the unity of the Church by meeting and reviving long term latent relationship between the Churches. Among many other encounters, on his trip to Mexico, February 12 to 18, 2016, the Pope and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met in Cuba after almost a millennium since the separation of the two Churches. As a result at the local Church level, an assembly like the one of Palm Sunday in Lusaka today adds value in the efforts to bring people together. The message was clear: Christ is our Identity. We are called to be one (Jn 17) no matter our differences, origins, colours, ideologies to mention just a few. The procession was even embellished by the participants sharing the palms with the drivers and passengers in cars on wait to allow the procession to pass and some children getting lost and join other Churches as each Church finalized the celebration in their particular church after the procession. We wish that the Palm Sunday will remain a platform to inspire the spirit of togetherness and welcome Jesus with joy. (Zechariah 9, 9)